Photo: NYC Parks Department
Floor-to-ceiling murals in the Arsenal
Allen Saalburg (1899-1987). This panel at the north end of the room shows
Civil War scenes.
”In 1935-36 the Arsenal lobby murals were painted under the direction of
Allen Saalburg. Saalburg depicted a series of scenes depicting recreational
activities, notable park structures, and flagship parks. The project was
funded by the Federal Works Progress Administration.”
Crowther, a well-known journalist,
In 1935, Juliana Force, the director of the Whitney Museum and organizer of
the first Federal Art Program in New York, introduced Saalburg's work to the
parks commissioner, Robert Moses, who put him in charge of the WPA mural
projects for the entire parks department. Projects included the Old Stone
House at Gowanus in Brooklyn, the Arsenal in Central Park (where Moses had
his office), the barroom of the newly created Tavern on the Green, and the
terrace restaurant at the zoo.
“Allen Saalburg, a painter and silk-screen artist who headed a murals
project of the Works Progress Administration during the 1930's in New York
City, died of pneumonia and complications resulting from a stroke, in
Flemington, N.J., Saturday. He was 88 years old and lived in Uhlerstown,
Pa. Mr. Saalburg directed a staff of artists who did historical and
whimsical murals that adorned the Zoo, the Arsenal and several other
buildings in Central Park, as well as in Pelham Bay and other city
Park Arsenal History, NY Department of Parks Website.
Saalburg entry in
Saalburg Obituary, New York Times, July 28, 1987.